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Archive for February, 2014

Beef & Liberty, Admiralty, Hong Kong

I am on the hunt for the best burger in Hong Kong and I may have found it! Beef and Liberty started in Shanghai and has opened up here in Hong Kong, in Wan Chai district. The restaurant is on the second floor just above Pizza Express on Star Street and the ambience is very casual and relaxing – as should a burger joint should be!

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Beef and Liberty offers diners delicious burgers, fries, wings and beers. It takes pride in serving hormone free grass fed beef. Apparently, all their beef is sourced from a small farm in Cape Grim region of Tasmania. I have been here twice now and both times it did not disappoint.

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We started with the chicken wings – chili sauce on the side as it was spicy (HKD58). I really liked this wings – crispy, juicy and the chili sauce was just perfect. I have friends who did not enjoy the wings as the skin was a little thick but Dragon and I really enjoyed it.

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If you are worried about eating too much carbs or are on a gluten free diet, you can try burger in a bowl which is really a gunless burger served with salad. It is an extra HKD20 but definitely worth it. I had the bacon cheese – beef, cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, bacon jam in a bowl. The beef was fantastic – cooked to perfection juicy and incredibly tender!

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‘The Mother’ had cheese – beef, cheddar cheese, iceberg, house bbq sauce (HKD79) and he was impressed. The bun was pretty good also but it was missing that runny sauce down your arm factor!

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I love how you can order 1/2 portion of chips – french fries and pommel frites (both are HKD15) and they were good! Even Dragon couldn’t resist.

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Service was fast and efficient, and the burgers awesome! On my next visit, I had the all day sets – was tempted to order the falafel but didn’t want to be disappointed so had the cheese burger and indeed it satisfied my burger cravings!

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Possibly my favourite place for burger thus far. Where is your favourite burger place?

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

Beef and Liberty

2/F, 23 Wing Fung Street

Admiralty, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2811 3009

Pure Veggie House, Central, Hong Kong

I don’t know many vegetarian restaurants in Hong Kong, in fact none before I went to Pure Veggie House. I love meat, but this year I have started doing meatless Monday. Pure Veggie House can be found in Coda Plaza, which is in Mid-Levels. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I have indeed very pleasantly surprised.

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We started with the mix ‘meat’ platter – which includes vegetarian bbq pork and I have to say, it was pretty good. It tastes almost like the real thing.

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The fried ‘white bait’ which is fried mushroom was excellent. It was thin and crispy and not oily at all. It was hard to not eat the whole thing.

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I love the tofu hot pot – the tofu was incredibly silky.

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The ‘bbq pork’ bun was delicious. The bun was soft and fluffy and the meat had the right texture and sweetness.

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I love sweet and sour pork, the vegetarian version was not as good as the real thing unfortunately. The ‘pork’ was a little chewy and rubbery but the sauce itself was good.

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The vegetarian dumplings I really liked, a little on the small side but it wasn’t oily or fatty.

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We all enjoyed the vegetarian spring rolls.

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The menu was vast, it took us a while to peruse the menu. There were some dim sum dishes on offer also. Service was a bit of a hit and miss but food was definitely scrumptious. Would be keen to go back to try their other dishes.

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

Pure Veggie House

3/F, Coda Plaza,

51 Garden Road,

Central, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2525 0552

Cafe Gray Deluxe, Admiralty, Hong Kong

Café Gray at The Upper House is well known for its views and is located at the Upper House on the 49th floor of the hotel. I have been to Café Gray at night for drinks but have never eaten here. The view on a clear night is stunning, even during the day if it’s a clear blue sky it’s beautiful.

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I have heard wonderful things about the high tea, but we were for lunch and diners have the option of a set lunch or a la carte. 2 courses is around HKD355 and 3 courses is HKD395. We started with some bread – which was warm and fresh.

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We all ordered the 2 course meal – entrée and main or main and dessert. Mixed roast vegetables topped with coriander and satay sauce (which I opt as it has nuts) was light and tasty.

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W had the chicken wontons – very upmarket and facny. The skin I thought was a little too thick, it was nice but nothing special I thought. I do prefer pork wontons though.

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The charred sea bass with green olive vinaigrette was a little weird. The sauce was slightly cold – not room temperature but cold which I thought was weird. The fish was also a little dry which was a little disappointing.

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Most of us had the Shepherd’s pie which was served in a ceramic bowl. I was looking forward to some crust and pastry, alas, no. However, the pie had lots of creamy mashed potatoes with minced beef, it was good but seriously heavy – perfect winter comfort food.

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For dessert, C opt for no entrée and ordered the apple tart which was served with ice cream. This was good but after the pie, I was over the edge and fell in a food coma!

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The set lunch came with tea and coffee as well as some milk / dark chocolate.

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I have to admit, lunch was OK – it wasn’t out of the world fantastic. The pie we all enjoyed but the fish was a little bit weird. For me, I prefer coming here for drinks and views. Not sure about the high tea though, but will definitely try it.

Hope you have a good weekend filled with food!

GA’s ratings: 6.5 /10

Café Gray Deluxe

L49 The Upper House,

Pacific Place, 88 Queensway,

Admiralty, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 3968 1106

Celebrity Cuisine, Central, Hong Kong

February 17, 2014 1 comment

Celebrity Cuisine can be found inside Lan Kwai Fong Hotel which is on Kau U Fong Street – not to be confused with the Lan Kwai Fong Hotel in LKF. Celebrity Cuisine has been awarded two Michelin starts and it is a rather cosy restaurant with only 40 seats. It offers diners ‘luxury Cantonese dining with the freshest A-list ingredients, handpicked by Chief Chef – Chef Cheng on a daily basis’.

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We were here for a Chinese New Year celebration lunch and I have to say, it did not disappoint. Everything we had were exceptionally good, especially the braised pork belly with preserved vegetables.

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We started with these tiny spring rolls – not too oily and a great start.

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I have always enjoyed eating pigeon, even though like crabs, its too much effort for a little bit of meat! However,  the pigeon was very good, the skin was exceptionally crispy and the meat tender, probably one of the nicest I have had.

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The braised ox tongue was incredibly tender that it just melted in your mouth.

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The braised pork belly with preserved vegetables was phenomenal. Melt in your mouth tender, makes you want more and more.

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Beans with pork which was also excellent – it can be too oily sometimes and this was just perfect.

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I am loving the custard / egg yolk bun and the one at Celebrity Cuisine is fantastic. Fluffy bun and the custard are sweet enough yet not sickening. It really is one of my favourite dim sum dishes. Not great for my hips or my stomach but it was fantastic.

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so good that we had two servings of this!!!

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To end the meal, complimentary taro soup which was quite decent.

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High-end Cantonese food can be quite expensive, especially if you eat abalone and seafood but this meal was surprisingly decent in price (about 250HKD per person). We didn’t order any seafood but what we ordered was excellent, I am still dreaming about that pork belly and custard bun.

Food was fresh and excellent, and service was good also.

GA’s ratings: 8 /10

Celebrity Cuisine

Lan Kwai Fong Hotel

3 Kau U Fong Street

Central / Sheung Wan

Hong Kong

Ph: +852 3650 0066

West Villa Restaurant, Causeway Bay

I am slowly making the rounds of dim sum places in Hong Kong. A friend was visiting from Singapore, originally from Sydney, and we have known each other for a while now. I suggested the West Villa Restaurant which is located in Causeway Bay – apparently it is a new location, Lee Gardens. Reservations are still highly recommended as the place was buzzing and busy.

There were about 6 of us – the more people the better, which means we can eat more! We started with the soy chicken which was served in a clay pot and steaming hot! The chicken incredibly tender, and Dragon enjoyed it very much.

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The individual xiao long bau were also fantastic! The skin was a little thicker than those you get from Din Tai Fung but it was still good. Lots of juice so make sure you wait until it has cooled down before putting the whole thing in your mouth!

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Dim sum is really incomplete for me without chicken feet – I know it is not everyone’s cup of tea but it is a must order for me.

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These vegetarian dumplings were great – translucent pastry with lots of fillings.

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I didn’t have any of the pork and thousand year old egg congee but everyone seemed to have enjoyed it. I only eat congee when I am sick, otherwise no thank you.

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The bbq pork bun was indeed very fluffy. My favourite would still have to be from Man Wah – the bun and filling are the best I have eaten thus far.

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The bbq pork rice rolls were good – we also ordered the beef and the prawns.

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The fried bbq pork bun was definitely a favourite of mine. Was it as good as Tim Ho Wan? Possibly and we didn’t have to wait 45 minutes for it.

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For dessert, we ordered a couple of egg tarts, mango and pomelo dessert and doufuhua which is dessert made with very soft tofu. The egg tarts were ok, I still prefer the one from teo cheong bakery but the doufuhua had lots of ginger which was good.

The food was definitely good, the service unfortunately was a bit of a hit and miss. It was so lovely catching up with my old friend, A – can’t wait to see you again in Hong Kong or Singapore. You can never go wrong with Dim Sum right?

Have a great weekend and happy eating!

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

West Villa Restaurant

Room 101-102, 1/F

Lee Garden Phase 2

28 Yan Ping Road

Causeway Bay

Ph: +852 2882 2110

Comfort by Harlan Goldstein, Central

February 12, 2014 1 comment

I can never keep up with all the new restaurants opening in Hong Kong. A friend suggested Comfort by Harlan Goldstein. I have been to a couple of Harlan’s restaurant – Striphouse (not a bad steak house but I do prefer Blue Butcher) and Gold (been so long since I have been here!) . Comfort replaces the space previously occupied by Striphouse which was a steak house.

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As the name suggests, Comfort is more of a casual dining restaurant serving well, comfort food. The menu are ‘personal no-frills favourites from his experience around the world that he loves sharing with friends’. The a la carte menu sounded superb, however, we opt for the lunch menu which consists of the salad buffet, one main and daily desserts.

The salad buffet had lots of options and everything was fresh and delicious – the prosciutto I loved. Haven’t had good prosciuttos in a long time!

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I couldn’t go past the Texas pulled pork sandwich – oh my! Tender and delicious pork on a soft bun… my only gripe would be the uncooked onions (not a huge fan of raw onions!) The potato salad was sinfully good!

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My friend opt for the chicken cacciatore which came with a side of rice. I didn’t have any of this but she definitely enjoyed it and thought it was very flavoursome

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For dessert, dacquoise – a French classic hazelnut pastry ‘I learn how to make 30 years ago’. Unfortunately I didn’t have any of this as it had nuts. V thought it was a perfect way to end the meal, not too heavy and not too sweet.

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I have heard wonderful things about the finger licking chicken wings and melt in your mouth pork belly bao are great – will definitely go back to try those! Service was polite and friendly, and food came out relatively quickly! With the cold weather in Hong Kong, I really wouldn’t mind some pork belly bao right now!

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Comfort by Harlan Goldstein

5/F Grand Progress Building

15-16 Lan Kwai Fong

Central

Hong Kong

Ph: +258 2521 8638

Nosh Tai Ping Shan, Sheung Wan, Hong Kon

I may have found a cafe that I really like in Hong Kong! Nosh Tai Ping Shan can be found on Upper Station Street just a block away from Upper Modern Bistro which is an up-and-coming area of Sheung Wan filling up with arts galleries, coffee shops, restaurants and cool little shops.

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The place was busy when we rocked up on a Sunday – there were a few people already waiting in line. Thankfully after about a 15 mins wait we were seated by the window, higher seat but it didn’t bother ‘The Mother’, or myself. There was direct sun light which was nice – how I have missed sitting in the sun drinking coffee and eating my breakfast! I really like the menu here… on weekends, there have all day breakfast which i love! On weekdays there are separate breakfast and lunch menus. The lunch  menu changes frequently, and they have salad, sandwich and soup on offer as well.

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‘The Mother’ couldn’t go past the Nosh Brunch (HKD140) – two poached eggs on sourdough, german sausages with spicy harissa, yogurt, roasted vine tomatoes, nosh potatoes and grilled portabello. Everything on the plate was fantastic, the bread were on a tiny side, but the potatoes definitely filled him up. I especially loved the portabello mushrooms.

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I opt for fried eggs on toast with crispy prosciutto, avocado puree and mixed green salad (HKD90). You can’t see the avocado puree as it was spread on the tiny bread which is hidden underneath the HUGE fried eggs. This was also very tasty.

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I have to say, I was rather impressed, I have only been once but I have to say that I am extremely excited to go back and try their other dishes. I noticed someone having the smoked salmon and lemon mascarpone on sourdough and it looked relish! Service was ok – there’s definitely room for improvement. There were a lot of confusion between the waitresses but food definitely worth going back for!

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

Nosh Tai Ping Shan

G/F, 11 Upper Sation Street

Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2559 8508